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Then was he turnd into a snowy Swan,

To win faire Leda to his lovely trade :
O wondrous skill! and sweet wit of the man,
That her in daffadillies sleeping made

From scorching heat her daintie limbes to shade;
Whiles the proud Bird, ruffing his fethers wyde
And brushing his faire brest, did her invade :
She slept; yet twixt her eielids closely spyde
How towards her he rusht, and smiled at his pryde.

Then shewd it how the Thebane Semelee,
Deceivd of gealous Juno, did require
To see him in his soverayne majestee

Armd with his thunderbolts and lightning fire,
Whens dearely she with death bought her desire.
But faire Alcmena better match did make,
Joying his love in likenes more entire⚫

Three nights in one, they say, that for her sake He then did put, her pleasures lenger to partake. Twise was he seene in soaring Eagles shape,




And with wide winges to beat the buxome ayre: Once, when he with Asterie did scape; Againe, when as the Trojane boy so fayre He snatcht from Ida hill, and with him bare: Wondrous delight it was there to behould How the rude Shepheards after him did stare, Trembling through feare least down he fallen should, And often to him calling to take surer hould.


In Satyres shape Antiopa he snatcht;
And like a fire, when he Aegin' assayd:
A shepeheard, when Mnemosyne he catcht;
And like a Serpent to the Thracian mayd. [playd,
Whyles thus on earth great Jove these pageaunts
The winged boy did thrust into his throne,
And scoffing thus unto his mother sayd:

"Lo! now the hevens obey to me alone, [gone." And take me for their Jove, whiles Jove to earth is

And thou, faire Phoebus, in thy colours bright
Wast there enwoven, and the sad distresse
In which that boy thee plonged, for despight
That thou bewray'dst his mothers wantonnesse,
When she with Mars was meynt in joyfulnesse :
For thy he thrild thee with a leaden dart


To love fair Daphne, which the[e] loved lesse ; Lesse shee thee lov'd then was thy just desart, Yet was thy love her death, and her death was thy smart. So lovedst thou the lusty Hyacinct;


So lovedst thou the faire Coronis deare; Yet both are of thy haplesse hand extinct, Yet both in flowres doe live, and love thee beare, The one a Paunce, the other a sweet breare: For griefe whereof, ye mote have lively seene The God himselfe rending his golden heare, And breaking quite his garlond ever greene, With other signes of sorrow and impatient teene.

Both for those two, and for his owne deare sonne, 38
The sonne of Climene, he did repent;

Who, bold to guide the charet of the Sunne,
Himselfe in thousand peeces fondly rent,
And all the world with flashing fire brent;
So like, that all the walles did seeme to flame:
Yet cruell Cupid, not herewith content,
Forst him eftsoones to follow other game,

And love a Shephards daughter for his dearest Dame.

He loved Isse for his dearest Dame,

And for her sake her cattell fedd a while,
And for her sake a cowheard vile became :
The servant of Admetus, cowheard vile,
Whiles that from heaven he suffered exile.
Long were to tell his other lovely fitt;
Now, like a Lyon hunting after spoile;
Now, like a stag; now, like a faulcon flit:
All which in that faire arras was most lively writ.


Next unto him was Neptune pictured,


In his divine resemblance wondrous lyke:
His face was rugged, and his hoarie hed
Dropped with brackish deaw: his threeforkt Pyke
He stearnly shooke, and therewith fierce did stryke
The raging billowes, that on every syde

They trembling stood, and made a long broad dyke, That his swift charet might have passage wyde Which foure great Hippodames did draw in temewise tyde.

His seahorses did seeme to snort amayne,


And from their nosethrilles blow the brynie streame,
That made the sparckling waves to smoke agayne,
And flame with gold; but the white fomy creame
Did shine with silver, and shoot forth his beame.
The God himselfe did pensive seeme and sad,
And hong adowne his head as he did dreame;
For privy love his brest empierced had,

Ne ought but deare Bisaltis ay could make him glad
He loved eke Iphimedia deare,

And Aeolus faire daughter, Arne hight,
For whom he turnd him selfe into a Steare,
And fedd on fodder to beguile her sight.
Also to win Deucalions daughter bright,
He turnd him selfe into a Dolphin fayre;
And like a winged horse he tooke his flight
To snaky-locke Medusa to repayre,


On whom he got faire Pegasus that flitteth in the ayre.

Next Saturne was, (but who would ever weene

That sullein Saturne ever weend to love?
Yet love is sullein, and Saturnlike seene,
As he did for Erigone it prove)

That to a Centaure did him selfe transmove.
So proov'd it eke that gratious God of wine,
When for to compasse Philliras hard love,
He turnd himselfe into a fruitfull vine,
And into her faire bosome made his
grapes decline


Long were to tell the amorous assayes,


And gentle pangues, with which he maked meeke The mightie Mars, to learne his wanton playes; How oft for Venus, and how often eek

For many other Nymphes, he sore did shreek ; With womanish teares, and with unwarlike smarts, Privily moystening his horrid cheeke:

There was he painted full of burning dartes, And many wide woundes launched through his inner partes.

Ne did he spare (so cruell was the Elfe)


His owne deare mother, (ah! why should he so?)
Ne did he spare sometime to pricke himselfe,
That he might taste the sweet consuming woe,
Which he had wrought to many others moe.
But, to declare the mournfull Tragedyes
And spoiles wherewith he all the ground did strow,
More eath to number with how many eyes
High heven beholdes sad lovers nightly theeveryes.
Kings, Queenes, Lords, Ladies, knights, and Damsels
Were heap'd together with the vulgar sort, [gent
And mingled with the raskall rablement,
Without respect of person or of port,

To shew Dan Cupids powre and great effort:
And round about a border was entrayld

Of broken bowes and arrowes shivered short;
And a long bloody river through them rayld,
So lively and so like that living sence it fayld.
And at the upper end of that faire rowme


There was an Altar built of pretious stone Of passing valew and of great renowme, On which there stood an Image all alone Of massy gold, which with his owne light shone ; And winges it had with sondry colours dight More sondry colours then the proud Pavone Beares in his boasted fan, or Iris bright, [bright. When her discolourd bow she spreds through heven

Blyndfold he was; and in his cruell fist


A mortall bow and arrowes keene did hold,
With which he shot at randon, when him list,
Some headed with sad lead, some with pure gold;
(Ah man! beware how thou those dartes behold.)
A wounded Dragon under him did ly,

Whose hideous tayle his lefte foot did enfold,
And with a shaft was shot through either eye,
That no man forth might draw, ne no man remedye.

And underneath his feet was written thus,

Unto the Victor of the Gods this bee:
And all the people in that ample hous
Did to that image bowe their humble knee,
And oft committed fowle Idolatree.

That wondrous sight faire Britomart amazd,
Ne seeing could her wonder satisfie,

But ever more and more upon it gazd,


The whiles the passing brightnes her fraile sences dazd.

Tho, as she backward cast her busie eye

To search each secrete of that goodly sted,
Over the dore thus written she did spye,
Bee bold: she oft and oft it over-red,
Yet could not find what sence it figured:
But what so were therein or writ or ment,
She was no whit thereby discouraged
From prosecuting of her first intent,


But forward with bold steps into the next roome went.

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Much fayrer then the former was that roome,
And richlier by many partes arayd;
For not with arras made in painefull loome,
But with pure gold it all was overlayd,
Wrought with wilde Antickes, which their follies
In the rich metall as they living were.


A thousand monstrous formes therein were made, Such as false love doth oft upon him weare;

For love in thousand monstrous formes doth oft appeare.

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